Herbs for Cancer in Dogs

Herbs can be used in conjunction with conventional dog cancer treatments as a supportive adjunct. There are quite a few herbs that have anti-cancerous and immune-boosting properties, such as red clover, astragalus, garlic, turmeric... This page looks at some useful herbs that can be used to help dogs with cancer. It also recommends some excellent natural herbal products for canine cancer.

Lab Retriever Being told that your dog has cancer is of course heart-wrenching, but it doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. Don't give up easily! Be proactive. Make it your mission to find out as much as possible about your dog's condition, and the treatments that are available out there. You may realize that there are more options than you think. With options come hope. Have faith. Believe in miracles.

Conventional cancer treatments using chemotherapy and radiation may be effective in getting rid of cancerous tumors, but such treatments can sometimes be harsh and tough on your dog. Such treatments can greatly compromise the proper functioning of the immune system.

Here is the good news: herbs can be used safely, without intervention, in conjunction with conventional treatments to fight cancer. (There is one exception. According to Dr. Dharmananda, Director of Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, St. John's Wort is the only herb that has been implicated in a potential adverse effect on chemotherapy.)


Immune System and Dog Cancer

Many holistic healers believe that the answer to cancer lies in the immune system. The importance of boosting your pet's compromised immune system is now being recognized as essential in slowing down the spread of cancer cells to the surrounding tissue. In this regard, herbs for cancer can play a vital role in boosting your dog's immune system and major body organs.

Herbs that strengthen the immune system and support major waste-removing organs (the liver, kidneys and lymphatic systems) are especially useful in fighting cancer.

Herbs for Cancer in Dogs

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Safe Herbs to Boost the Immune System


Avemar is a 100% natural product made from a form of fermented wheat germ which has been found to be able to induce apoptosis (programmed death of cancer cells), after the first 24 hours of use. It also has anti-inflammatory functions and supports detoxification, helping the dog's body to get rid of the dead cancer cells and any toxins formed in the process of apoptosis.

Use the following dosage for dogs:

  • Less than 25 pounds - 1/4 packet/day
  • 25-50 pounds - 1/2 packet/day
  • over 50 pounds - 1 packet/day.

Suggested schedule is to administer Avemar for 60 days, then for 30 days every 3 months for the remainder of your dog's life.

NOTE: Vitamin C has been shown to negate the effects of Avemar. Make sure your dog is not getting any Vitamin C while on Avemar.


AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is produced by combining a number of mushroom extracts. It works by boosting the activity of natural killer cells by up to 300%. Get a product especially made for dogs such as American BioSciences NK-9 AHCC Immune System Support For Dogs. Follow the suggested dosage on the label.

Use AHCC together with Avemar for synergistic effects.

Other Immune-Boosting Herbs

There are quite a few other herbs that support and enhance a weakened immune system. For example:

  • Astragalus: This herb is an immuno-stimulant; thus it can be used to boost your dog's immune system. In addition, it has been found that astragalus contains an alkaloid that inhibits the spread of melanoma, a skin cancer.
  • Echinacea: This herb is well-known for its effectiveness in supporting and strenthening the immune system.
  • Garlic: Garlic has a lot of sulphur-containing compounds (thus the strong smell!). These compounds are helpful in enhancing the immune system. It has also been shown that garlic stimulates the growth of beneficial cells.
  • Green tea: Green tea has been found to be effective in boosting and stimulating the immune system. It is also an antioxidant and astringent and has been shown to be an effective herb for cancer (especially for some kind of stomach and skin cancers).
  • Mushrooms (e.g. Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake): Mushrooms, especially reishi, has been used for many years in China and Japan as herbs for cancer prevention and treatment in people. Recent research has found that these mushrooms can enhance the immune system, due to their high levels of polysaccharides and their effect on white blood cells.

    In addition, these mushrooms have been found to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties.

  • Mistletoe: Mistletoe is being used in Asia and Europe for a wide range of health conditions in people, including regulating blood pressure and enhancing the immune system. Also, in Europe, this herb is commonly used to treat cancer.
  • Cat's Claw: This Peruvian herb has recently been found to possess not only immune enhancing properties, but also antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties.

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Herbs for Cancer in Dogs - Essiac Tea

Perhaps you have heard of "Essiac" or Essiac Tea. It is an herbal cancer therapy originally developed by a Canadian nurse, R. Caisse. It contains four herbs: burdock root, slippery elm, sorrel, and Turkey/Chinese rhubarb root.

A lot of people claim that Essiac is effective against cancer, and there are also quite a few dog parents who have successfully used Essiac to treat their dogs with cancer.

There are a few Essiac tea products for pets, but these two stand out with a lot of positive comments and success stories from dog parents who have tried them. If your dog has unfortunately been diagnosed with cancer, you may want to try either one of them:

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Other Useful Herbs for Cancer In Dogs

Below are other useful herbs for cancer which can be used to help support and strengthen various organ functions (e.g. liver functions, lymphatic functions, etc.) in the dog's body. By strengthening these organs and supporting their functions, the overall immunity will be improved and the dog will have more energy and vitality and will be more physically able to fight the cancer.

  • Red clover: Red clover has been hailed as "the" herb for cancer by many herbalists. The herb has tumor-inhibiting properties and strengthens lymphatic functions (crucial in cleansing cell tissues).
  • Burdock root: Burdock root supports and stimulates the liver, therefore facilitates waste and toxic removal from the body. It is also a very safe herb for prolonged use.
  • Alfalfa: Alfalfa has been found to reduce the risk of cancerous growths and is therefore considered a good herb for cancer prevention.
  • Dandelion: Dandelion is a diuretic herb that helps waste removal via the kidneys and urinary tract. It also improves digestion and removal of waste by providing gentle stimulation to the liver.
  • Milk Thistle: This herb can protect the liver against harmful by-products of the cancer. As well, milk thistle is effective in protecting the body from liver damage resulting from chemotherapy.
  • Other herbs for cancer: It has recently been found in Malaysia that the herbs ginger and turmeric may also help fight cancer. In a study conducted in Malaysia, it was found that ginger effectively blocked the promotion of cancerous tumors. They also found that turmeric extracts completely inhibited further growth of the cancer cells in the colon. (British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 80, No. 1/2, April 1999, pp. 110-16.) In fact, turmeric is now hailed as a useful herb for treating colon cancer in people. There has not been much research done on dogs; however, knowing what we know about the anti-cancerous and antioxidant power of turmeric, many holistic vets have included this herb as one of the many useful herbs for cancer in dogs as well. Since ginger and turmeric are safe tonic herbs, these herbs can also be fed to our pets for cancer prevention.

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Other Good Herbal Products For Canine Cancer


Excellent Herbal Products

Here are some natural herbal products that many dog parents have used and found good results:

Only Natural Pet Immune Strengthener

This formula contains immune-boosting herbs, such as astragalus, green tea, cats claw, and mushrooms (reishi, maitake, shiitake). In addition, it contains numerous antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E) as well as coemzyme Q10. This powerful combination of herbs and supplements has an synergistic immune-boosting effect on dogs who are weakened by chronic diseases such as cancer or allergies.

Genesis Resources CAS Options Dog Supplement

Another powerful blend of herbs (mushrooms) with antioxidant vitamins that can synergistically boost the immune system. This formula seems to be extremely effective in canine cancer treatment.

I'm-Yunity for Dogs

This herbal product is made from Yunshi mushroom (Coriolus versicolor) extract and has been found to be an effective treatment for hemangiosarcoma.

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